194. Carex nivalis Boott, Proc. Linn. Soc. London. 1: 256. 1845.
喜马拉雅薹草 xi ma la ya tai cao
Rhizome stoloniferous. Culms 20-40 cm tall, trigonous, clothed at base with brown-purple sheaths. Leaves shorter than culm, blades broadly linear, 6-7 mm wide, flat, apex acuminate. Lower involucral bracts leaflike, gradually attenuate above to a long cusp, shortly sheathing, upper ones glumelike. Spikes 3-5, subfastigiate, dark purple-red, clavate-cylindric, 2-3.5 cm; upper 1 or 2 gynaecandrous or male, sessile; remaining spikes female, with slender peduncles, lowest one sometimes remote. Female glumes dark purple-red, lanceolate or oblong, 4-5 mm, green 1-veined costa forming a mucro or not at apex. Utricles dark purple-red, pale at base, longer than glume, elliptic or ovate, compressed trigonous, 5-6 mm, papery, glabrous, nerveless, base rounded, with a very short stipe, upper margins slightly scabrous, apex abruptly contracted into a short beak, orifice hyaline, obliquely truncate, 2-toothed. Nutlets loosely enveloped, oblong or elliptic, ca. 2.5 mm, base long stipitate; style enclosed in utricle, base not thickened; stigmas 3. Fl. and fr. Jun-Jul.
Grasslands in Picea forests, alpine grasslands in thickets; 3000-5200 m. W Sichuan, W Xizang, NW Yunnan [Afghanistan, India (Sikkim), Kashmir, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Uzbekistan].